Despite Chris Chibnall’s statements that there would be no returning characters, all the episodes would be stand-alone and there would be no series arc, scenes in the second episode of Doctor Who Series 11, The Ghost Monument suggest otherwise.
A series arc villain?
There was a mention of the Stenza in a carved message on the floor the Doctor comes upon on the planet Desolation in The Ghost Monument. The sign reads:
We are scientists – abducted, tortured, and made to work while our families are held hostage. We are forced to find new ways of destruction. Poisons, weapons, creatures. We gave them our minds, and they made us the creators of death.
This planet has been left scorched and barren from our work. The atmosphere and water are toxic. Killing machines and creatures inhabit every corner.
We had no choice but to obey…..the Stenza.
We are trying to destroy all of our work before they use it against others.
This is an unexpected mention of the dangerous species introduced in The Woman Who Fell to Earth.
The Stenza are also responsible for misery on Angstrom’s home planet, Albar.
“Albar is being systematically cleansed. Half my family are in hiding. The others are on the run.
This is my only chance to bring us back together.”
The Stenza come from “5000 galaxies away” and are “Conquerors of the Nine Systems,” according to T’zim Sha (Tim Shaw), the Stenza Warrior who hunted Karl the crane operator in The Woman Who Fell to Earth. T’zim Sha also stated that he is adapted to the extreme cold of his home world. One freezing touch from a Stenza can kill a human.
Could the Stenza reappear in future Series 11 Episodes to cause more havoc? Time will tell.
The second mystery introduced: the Timeless Child.
Remnants: We see deeper, though. Further back. The Timeless Child.
Doctor: What did you just say?
Remnants: She doesn’t know.
Doctor: What are you talking about? What can you see?
Remnants: We see what’s hidden, even from yourself. The outcast, abandoned and unknown.
Very intriguing. A mysterious origin story for the Doctor? A continuation of the Cartmel Masterplan which would have dropped hints of the Doctor’s actual origins had Sylvester McCoy’s continued as the Doctor if the series hadn’t been canceled?
The seventh Doctor told Davros that he was “far more than just another Time Lord” in an uncut version of Remembrance of the Daleks.
Again, time will tell ‒ or maybe not?